Hell In A Bucket-> Bertha, Walkin Blues, Candyman, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Row Jimmy, Victim Or The Crime, Foolish Heart Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Estimated Prophet-> Crazy Fingers-> Drums-> I Will Take You Home-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> I Need A Miracle-> Stella Blue-> Not Fade Away - E: Knockin' On Heaven's Door
FM (matrix): DAT> CD> TrackThief> AIFF> Peak> WAV> SHN via Braverman (upgrade of prior seeds from this source)
July 29, 2015 Subject:
It was my first show at SPAC and I had always enjoyed the tapes of the earlier shows. I did that entire summer tour and everyone was getting a little tired by that point, but there were some off days and everyone loved upstate New York. The Rochester show was a lot of fun too. I am from the South so we are just a more passive people and I thought it was just wild to see all of the people rushing the ramps to get into the balcony during the show. It made no sense to me because there really was no where for them to go. Overall, it was a killer show and a real fun tour. If I recall correctly, we drove overnight after the show to Boston and spent a few days there before the Maine shows and had a real blast. We bought a huge tank of Nitrous and our car was practically dragging the ground pulling into the place in Maine.
Reviewer:Dave B 1986
May 5, 2014 Subject:
ups and downs
The sound quality throughout is very high. The playing has its ups and downs, and not always in predictable spots. The Hell in a bucket smokes, the Bertha seems ragged, although the solo finds a groove. Foolish and Victim were a long way from mature. the scarlet fire is very strong. more rough spots in estimated (but nice out-tro jam), lyrics fleeting in Crazy Fingers. I love Jerry's distortion and fieery playing in a raucous Miracle. In a fitting Near end to the night, the stella blue stumbles at the emotional bridge, but then Jerry just explodes in the end jam.
June 28, 2013 Subject:
25 yrs. to the day!
Hopped 20 minutes down the Northway from my folks house in Glens Falls to catch this 'back yard' show. I'd missed the prior, epic 'don't hang off the balcony' SPAC shows, and wasn't about to miss this one. The scene was crazy-- crashers charging up the balcony aisle, pre-show marshmallow wars, cops on horseback, the whole deal. Then the Dead came on. Highlights for me included Crazy Fingers, Scarlet->Fire (dancin' barefoot in a typical SPAC downpour), Foolish Heart and a heartfelt Knockin'. Definitely a 'Jerry show' in my memory. A very solid show from a solid tour.
May 4, 2013 Subject:
Good show....good shit....bad heads.
1st off let me say I was a sophomore in HS when I saw this show ( my 7th). Hooked up with my brothers dorm buddies(cortland) total last minute miracle show I never thought I'd make, put together by my mother because she didn't want to drive up to Cortland from Long Island alone!!( mother of the century!!) so as we're getting closer to the event we star to realize what a total clusterfuck mob scene it was turning into( way too many showed up w/o ticks). Thinking we'd never find the two roommates of my older brothers in this mob scene....my mother is already talkin about maybe turning around ( at which point throwing myself from the speeding car was completely plausible). Just then there they were walking down the side of the road trying to spot us. They already had my spacesuit just had to find a ticket.....90$. Far from a miracle. My memories of this show are quite fond minus the weather and the gate crashing heads but it was far from one of the best shows I'd seen even at that point( msg that previous fall and Jerry on broadway assured that). I will say I found the aggressiveness of the gate crashing a bit violent at multiple times. Nothing against gate cashing per se if its done with style. The MSG "standpipe sneak" for example. Requires you to make a fake ticket...mill around in the bowels of msg...and wait for some heroic head who already had a real ticket to sneak into the standpipe (fire exit) run all the way down to the penn station door and kick it open. All of a sudden 10 to 12 heads hanging out with their fake tickets( pretending to be waiting on friends) rush for the open portal...then running from there all the wAy to the upper deck( only open door)trying not to puke once you get there( that I failed once). At least that takes imagination, planning and perseverance.
Not running up to and climbing over a 15 foot fence dropping down and hoping you'll be 1 of the 6 in 10 not to get bagged. Matter of style I suppose.
June 28, 2012 Subject:
This show (and the Rochester show on the 30th) were very well done.
In a year that would see "overkill" of the band at MSG in the fall - SPAC and Roch were examples of well played and interesting set lists.
Enjoy and God bless!!
June 17, 2011 Subject:
there's one for everyone, right?
There are OK shows and good shows and great shows ... and then everybody has the one that changed *their* life.
:) This one worked for me ...
September 19, 2010 Subject:
Any show at SPAC is going to be a good show. This was no exception. SPAC is one of the most beautiful amphitheatre venues the East Coast has. I think GD would agree. I did this stretch of the tour as kind of a high school graduation present to myself. I just realized something this second: The tour went from an amphitheatre in the Adirondacks, to a neighborhood minor league baseball stadium (Rochester), to a racetrack in the middle of nowhere (Oxford, ME.) This three-legged stool gets high marks for juxtaposition of venues, high marks for places to camp, and most importantly, high marks for the music itself.
I think this show falls on the better side of "average". That's not a knock, as "average" for The Dead is pretty damn good, really. I think the first set is ok, Jerry seems pretty into Candyman (I was on the lawn, and while I recall the hoopla over the gate crash, I had no idea what it was about at the time). Scarlet-Fire is always nice. This one wasn't a burner, but to me it had that late 70's quality of being interesting while still being laid-back. I just realized by listening to this show that I like "I Will Take You Home". So many of Brent's later songs were downers (thematically, anyway), that it's nice to hear him being positive. This is as good a version of that one as you'll find (except maybe Buffalo '89). The rest of the post-space second set is spirited, if not life-changing. Knockin' is sloppy but heartfelt. There's far better SPAC shows, but they ended their time at this venue on a good note, for sure.
March 10, 2010 Subject:
lightning during candyman
that's what i remember from being there ...not tons else. Nice ScarletFire, if i recall..
October 4, 2009 Subject:
A good show.A bit sloppy at times. Jerry pulls off one hell of a solo in Candy Man. Good sound quality but if you've no subwoofer the bass is thin.
August 22, 2008 Subject:
Those were the days...
What a spectacular venue to see the Dead at...this night and the previous time they played at this place (6-27-85...my first show) it rained a bit and got quite chilly as the evening worn on. Very briefly, there is a soundboard up of this show now, but even this recording is light in the bass. From Bertha straight through to Row Jimmy the band is on...I have this as an aud. tape and you can clearly hear when some people broke through the security to access the upper balcony area (about 15 seconds before Jerry starts his beautiful solo in Candyman)- this crown cheer is inaudible on the soundboard. And this is the point when it began to rain quite hard- hence why some people broke past security, then they flooded past...(it was raining from Candyman until Victim). Sure there were many people there but I don't recall it as being a bad scene...on the contrary- I was way back for the Scarlet-Fire and let me tell you, even way back there...we was jamming...surrounded by pine trees...huge speakers set up on the lawn...This Fire is huge and the whole pre-drums of set 2 is positively electrifying. Enjoy...
February 5, 2008 Subject:
Overall: some great playing, some less than perfect sound quality (both at the show and on this recording). A very nice Scarlet>Fire, Estimated>Fingers is definitely the highlight of this show. As someone else noted, however, there's no bass on this recording. It's better than nothing, but would someone please upload a better recording? This second set deserves to be heard with Phil. A solid four stars for the show itself, diminished by a bassless recording and gatecrashers.
The scene: the middle of the end. We (Peter, Larry, and I) got to the venue and it was beautiful. After parking we walked down this tree lined trail that had a bunch of plaques/signs with history of the horseracing track. It was a really beautiful day. Later in the day, after we got into the venue, things turned somewhat ugly. Rain. Gatecrashers. Sound quality problems on the lawn due to bad setup for the rear speakers. This could have been an incredible day, but it sticks in my head as being a bit of heaven and a bit of hell all in one. I had been really looking forward to this one, as '84 SPAC was one of my all-time favorite tapes. The pre-drums second set is really fantastic, but all the off-stage BS made this an up-and-down day. This was the final summer without huge stadium shows. Too many idiots without tickets who were willing to do anything to get inside ruined it for all of us - and from here on out we'd have to settle for summer shows only in football stadiums.
The music: Set I: Decent song selection and all well played, but nothing stands as particularly noteworthy. Can't hear Phil at all. Row Jimmy has some nice bounce to it. This song went from pretty straight-forward in 87 to much more interesting in 89-90, and this has some of the bounce that really made it a fun tune later on (again highlighting 88 as a transition year on the upswing).
Set II: If my memory is correct, the rain had stopped by this point, but it was still cloudy and pretty chilly. Scarlet was a very welcome second set opener. It's hard to frown about gatecrashers and rain when the boys are pulling a sweet 21-minute Scarlet>Fire. At around the 7 minute mark, you can hear them just start to head into Fire, and then Jerry backs them away and keeps the jam going. It's no '77 or 3/22/90 (my vote for best Scarlet>Fire of this era), but this is a noteworthy Scarlet>Fire that holds its weight against any in the late 80s. Bobby's vocal improv segment of Estimated is decent, but not special. Like many in this era, he relies a little too much on the high pitch scream, rather than on mixing it with creative improv (for my favorite see 6/30/87 in Kingswood). The jam into Crazy Fingers is pleasantly different than most standard Estimated jams, with Jerry going outside the standard scale to bring things in line with the correct key for Crazy Fingers. It makes for a really interesting (albeit still a bit short) jam, and begs the question as to why they didn't combine these two more often. The post-Fingers jam also goes "out there" really nicely before succumbing to the two crazy guys in back. Take You Home makes it's second ever appearance and this time its in the slot that it would become it's typical placement. I always thought the space leading up to Take You Home should have reflected the mellow vibe, but that rarely happened. It'd be like Jerry burning up and down the fretboard and Bobby making his crazy whooping sounds, and then instead of Other One, all of a sudden they'd go into lulliby mode. I don't fault the song, it's freakin gorgeous, but the band should have done a better job of leading into it, IMO. GDTRFB picks things back up nicely, and includes some nice drawn out jamming between Jerry and Brent. Stella builds to a really nice peak and Jerry's voice is sounding really strong as well. NFA is a good ole crowd pleaser. Even Knockin has some extra kick to it near the end.
March 23, 2007 Subject:
The news is out
SPAC was a mob scene compared to earlier days!
Check out the Victim , Foolish to close set one.
November 19, 2006 Subject:
A wild summer; a year off from UVM to follow the Dead...this was my first show and I absolutely LOVED it. I am so glad it is available here. We got there a little late, and I remember Hell in a Bucket spilling over into the parking lot as we made our way in. The band came into sight as they started Bertha. It was amazing. I don't think I ever danced so much...(with the possible exception of Drums at Oxford Plains in July 88). Very nostalgic for this show and that time in my life. Thanks for making these shows available; they are awesome!
November 13, 2006 Subject:
this show was lots of fun to be at. maybe not the greatest show in GD history, but a great crowd (from where i was) and super fun energy with those around me. weather was fucked, but so was everyone else. great estimated - crazy.
November 11, 2006 Subject:
Wow, Not one Audience Recording Listed Yet for 6/28/88
I'd love to hear one.
Kudos' to Saratoga for allowing the boys one last go around at the Performing Arts Center. Love that place esp. for GD shows. Had a fantastic time at every SPAC GD show I saw - caught 3/4. Unfortunately I missed 6/18/83.
Estimated>Crazy Fingers. Nice. Not many of those.
SPAC and GD is special, period. Collect em all.
4 for fun factor
October 23, 2006 Subject:
The beginning of the end...
... as far as I'm concerned.
I was at this one with high hopes - I was taking my sister to her first show in 10 years! Well, as someone mentioned, the parking lot scene was good fun. In fact, it was the highlight of this show for me.
The sound was all confused with that screwy speaker thingy in the back, the gate-crashers were obnoxious, and the whole thing generally sucked. I'd seen the band a lot in the past couple of years, and was disappointed with the sloppy performance, esp. since my sis was there.
I suddenly could see that the writing was on the wall, re: crowd issues - I'm very surprised that the band was able to tour as long as they did, just due to the shitheads that seemed to materialize at every show. I can't say I really had fun at a show after 87 :-(
So, the one star is really about my personal experience of the event. I'm sure the 5-star folks had a great time, and I'm really glad for that.
April 6, 2006 Subject:
At the time, I was 13 and grew up a short distance from SPAC. My older sister was dating a deadhead and he got me into them. I begged my parents to let me go to the show but instead I sat home and taped the show from the live radio broadcast.
I still listen to that tape after all these years and still believe this show proves why GD and summertime were a killer combination!
Unfortunately, time has not helped this recording.
For some reason there is NO bass in the first set and precious little after. The recording I made off the radio makes this SBD sound like they are playing in a tin can.
Also, the playing is by-numbers or worse. Better bet is 6/23/88...
We miss you Grateful Dead!!!!!!
March 11, 2006 Subject:
Have to agree about the Stella Blue
I listened to this Stella as a result of a thread on the forum called "Jerry Moments"- yes, for sure, A great Stella- I like it more than the 5-4-79 I listened to last night
February 24, 2006 Subject:
Heaven and Hell
So I trek upsate to see this show because I love the venue. The parking lot scene was great and I walked around with a tape recorder recording my conversation with fellow heads (wearing my Hoffman T-shirt). Musically, the show and set list were very cool and the performances were very good. Heaven.
Hell. During the show, the gatecrashing started, overcrowing the lawn while fellow heads cheered them on (similar to the problems the band has had at this venue and at others). I was mortified by the crowds abhorrent behavoir. Then the thunderstorm started. Soaking wet and pissed off, I headed back to the bus stop halfway through the second set.
One of the problems I always had being a deadhead was that I loved the band, but frequently hated their fans. Self centered, self indulgent deadheads ruined the scene completely. No wonder this was the Dead's last visit to SPAC.
February 1, 2006 Subject:
The "FOOLISH HEART" project
------ I might sound like a silly "Jimmy Carter era" dead head, but I loved this song from the first time I heard it [?] --- I am doing my self a favour; cassette streaming as many as I can find. This song is always glowing with lot of light! It's not dark\evil\etc. I can prove to all of you; I will never get tired of this song and it's "jam-a-bility"!
January 8, 2006 Subject:
For Better or worse, this is a Jerry show.
1st Set: "Please welcome back to Saratoga, the Grateful Dead." Oooo..."Hell" sounds rough to start out with. Despite some interesting Jerry cries throughout the song, there's nothing above standard save Bobby's belts at the end. Ahhh...the first "Bertha" in a bit. It's a shake-off any lingering ugly vibes, chill version...not particularly rousing. We'll save that task for the chuggin "Walkin" that follows. Jerry's slightly distorted soloing during the three's of "Candyman" affects me. Solid, trippier version than norm. "Masterpiece" has an ease of confidence that's awfully enviable. "Row" is soft, patient and lovely. Uh oh, I'm hearing a "Victim" coming out in Jerry, and yes - Brent does a nice roll... uh huh it's a short but effective downer. They stroll right into a poignant but slightly too downtrodden "Foolish." Brent adds whatever excitement there is with some keen cascades in the 6's. If I'm in the crowd, I'm feeling the doldrums...there needs to be some solid rocking/grooving during the second.
2nd Set: Well, everyone's mood is sure to perk up hearing the familiar tones of "Scarlet" The drumming picked up perfectly when Jerry began singing. Loads of expeditions taken by Jerry, none of them particularly compelling but never snore-y. Jerry raises the show to new heights during the 3's of "Fire." YEA! the twilling is exemplary. Despite some moments of flamboyant overselling (in 5's) this is a wonderful 10 minutes of music. Right into "Estimated" we head... all three tunes of the second set have clocked in between 10:00-10:20... useless fact. The beat is kept simmering after Bobby's cries, so Jerry could lead as he may. Surprisingly, the band elects to inter "Crazy" territory. Oddly, Jerry's voice has reached a point of depletion...he's croaking the words and doesn't even bother to sing the final bridge (5:10) Still, the impossible longing mood has been sustained. About 7 1/2 minutes in, the song is abandoned as they concentrate on mustering a chaotic breakdown - not furious, but an obligatory action like the dissolution of fission. They come apart signified by some lovely xylophone work as we're "Drum"'ing" it. Some caw's add a haunting menacing tone but Mickey's pounding the ??? (devil percussions) so hard that it's more of a surgence of motivation than a message of leeriness. "Space" is a keen indicator that these sorts of excursions are best heard and played in the evening - where we have less control of our surroundings and are less influenced by the day's symbolism - be productive/business. After 8 1/2 minutes of what appears like Jerry could entertain himself all night just riffing, Brent sings us a "I Will" lullabye. Jerry's accompaniment during the last thirty seconds is well-placed. Yea, "GDTRFB" is always a pick me up. Jerry's enjoyin himself as we head into the final stretch. I wish they'd really pick it up and let it hang out. By the last 4's the sound becomes full and raucous...they're here to play. Time for Bobby to display his virility...my lord Jerry sounds so too. Approproately over-the-top. After this avalanche of libido, can "Stella"'s weariness be believed? Regardless, this "Stella" is anthemic and admirable considering Jer's so obviously smiling through such a devestating tune. Wow during 7:48-8:00...amazing Jerry. The band has obviously taken flight by now, so slight timing issues during "NFA" do not mar an otherwise very strong, sturdy performance.
Another "Knockin" serves to say goodnight to the mid-NY state faithful. Geez, 7:40 could knock over a redwood. (BTW, where is this amphitheatre in contrast to the racetrack?)
3 3/5 th stars. If brilliance cannot be reached through thoughtful introspection, knock em dead with your power.
October 21, 2005 Subject:
I hear ya...
space cowboy. i first copied my buddy's older brother's copy of this show back in '88 when he was home on fall break. I dubbed it on a Memorex dBS 90min. remember those? we would buy a 10 pack an about 5 would last a week, 2 would last a year and one would make it until the arrival of the live music archive. Well, Saratoga '88 was the one that outlasted my tape deck but it's great to have it on disc. HATS OFF TO THE ARCHIVE!!!
I remember stealing this show from my brother, their was no tape cover, and you couldnt read the tape to see what was on it. this is the first show I started to really listen. I would listen to it before college, in the car,between classes and after school.its great to hear this in better sound. its a great show, its worth the listen
September 3, 2005 Subject:
i was at this show and me and my bro got some bad psychedellics so i dont remember much but its nice to be able to get this here the dead at spac will be missed by me some great memories from 84,85 and even 88
August 26, 2005 Subject:
My first show....
I went to this show and my girlfriend didn't want to so she stayed home and taped the FM Broadcast for me...which was great, except for forgetting to flip the cassette. So I've always had two horrible tape flips in this show, one of them cutting most of Masterpiece. She started taping about 15 min before the show and had interviews with Healy and with Mickey about his new drum setup.
Not a great show, but everyone knew it was going to be the last SPAC show ever so it was magical. Someone else bitched about the rain, but the magical thing there was that the previous time they played SPAC it rained when they started playin Fire, so it blew everyone's mind that the rain started as the band kicked into Fire this night as well. The rain was not hard. My great joy was a little kid straining to see from the lawn saying "Which one's Jerry mom?"
Phil played Earthquake Bass during Space and rattled our bones. I've always enjoyed breaking out this tape.
April 7, 2005 Subject:
The rain came with the candyman
I love Saratoga, and SPAC is its gem. They sold 15,000 tickets and there were close to 30.000 people inside. It was of course the band's last performance there, and from the beginning they knew it would be; and what a grand performance it was, after the rain came during Candyman, it was no stopping the Boys, they went to Town. one of the tightest Scarlet-Fire and not to be missed, "I will take you Home."
March 27, 2005 Subject:
One of my Favs
This was one of my first tapes and still has some of my fav Brent era versions of "Candyman","Row Jimmy","Foolish Heart",and of course "Scarlet/Fire"! Jerry sings and plays this one with gusto and authority. He really shreds his solo's. Unfortunately, much of the show is is plagued by sloppiness and feedback and it's a little Lesh lite for my taste (maybe due for a Bertha remaster?). Now download this and go turn up the "Scarlet/Fire" as loud as possible!
March 8, 2005 Subject:
I WAS AT THIS 0NE!THIS IS THE BEST STELLA BLUE EVER(YES,BETTER THAN 3-21-94 RICHFIELD)JERRYS SOLO AT THE END IS HAIR RAISING!I MEAN IT...
January 7, 2005 Subject:
I was at this show and out of my head. I remember thinking that the band had successfully buried speakers under the lawn as the music surrounded me and seemed to be entering my body through my feet. I see gr8fullfred has pointed out that there were speakers at the back. This helps explain a little, maybe. foolish heart= good, scarlet>fire= blissful. I remeber seeing Jerry rock back and forth as he soloed during fire, an image of pure forever burnt in my memory. Sound here is really nice.
January 3, 2005 Subject:
Not like the prior years
I thought the playing at this show was pretty lackluster, compared to the legendary 83,84,85 sets at SPAC. I think the freewheeling karma was gone by this point at SPAC. The first set is downright sloppy..The second set a bit better, with good song selection and outstanding soundquality.
Doesn't live up to it's SPAC heritage though.
October 30, 2004 Subject:
Dead were good, crowd was bad
This was my first show after several years away from the scene. It was horribly crowded, they had a speaker set up way in the back, and I wondered why they would need that back there, almost by the entrance. I had been to SPAC for a jazz festival, and it was very mellow and very nice, but not this night. SPAC is in no way bullet proof for gate crashers, as there are long fences that are easily scaled by the willing. And they apparently sold a lot of tickets. Apparently the previous visit by the dead was also a problem, and the dead were banned from SPAC for awhile after that show, and again after this show. Security guards (apparently football players from local schools) were literaly tackling running gate crashing hippie types right in the middle of the crowded lawn area and tying them up with large tywraps, and taking them away.
At one point the crowd overpowered the security guards at one of the ramps to the balcony, and what appeared to be hundreds of fans bolted up the ramp into the upper section of the venue, while the crowd on the lawn cheered them on. There was alot more, but I'll spare you the details. It was a bad scene, we left after the first set.
All that being said, the dead were good in 88, with Jerry pretty well recovered from his near death coma in 86. I love Jerry's solo in Bertha from this show as well as the New Years 88 show.
I made a tape from the audience, and It came out pretty cool, cause the croud was singing the chorus along with Jerry. Since this was a radio broadcast, tapes have been floating around all along. I am looking forward to listening to this show again. I am crusing the net looking for Berthas from 1988.
September 25, 2004 Subject:
I was on the lawn for this one--the traditional marshmallow wars and a couple gatecrashers (one memorable, when a skinny kid was tackled on the balcony ramp by a "solid" female usher). Actually, Brentblack, this was the Dead's first show BACK at SPAC, after the '85 ban caused by 40,000+ tix, and rampant crashers. John Scher's security goons were the scourge of Upstate NY concerts back then--friggin' turbo-Nazis. Good show, good quality boot. SYF.
July 28, 2004 Subject:
Love this venue!!! Very good show well worth the download. nice fm
July 21, 2004 Subject:
I agree with everything the reviewer said previously. This was my 1st show 4th row on phils side. I always thought it was a good show, but thought maybe I was biased. To me every song has a kind of grand feeling, for lack of better words. Man if I had the opportunity to see them 4th row again. I was new back then but still realized how special it was. I was never the same after that day.
July 21, 2004 Subject:
got me hooked
OK, I wasn't at this show. I was in 8th grade and no way in hell was my Dad letting me go. But, soon after I got a tape of the second set from my brother, which I still have. The Scarlet->Fire is nutty. It has a sweet, smooth transition, and Jerry is absolutely ripping notes in each of his solos during Fire. Each solo segemnt in Fire has kind of its unique progression. I had to wait 3 years to see my first Scarlet->Fire, and unfortuantely didn't live up to this one. The sound quality is excellent, as it was an FM broadcast off of PYX-106. Jerry hits some very sour notes in Stella Blue, but makes up for it with a wicked ending solo. BTW, the Dead were not allowed back to SPAC after this show. Highly recommended.
July 6, 2004 Subject:
Source: Master Audience Recorded By Fitzy, Transfer By Keo; 2 Nakamichi CM300/CP4 Shotguns + 2 Nakamichi CM100/CP4 Shotguns > Unknown Mixer > Sony TC-D5m, Tapes Maxell MX-90's; Recorded From The Official Taper's Section; Transfer With Nakamichi MR-1 > Korg MR-1000 @ 1 Bit/5.6 MHz; Tracking/Sample Rate Conversion With AudioGate Software To 32/96 kHz Wave; Dithered/Flacked With Korg Aqua To 16/44; SBE's Checked/Fixed With Trader's Little Helper; Metadata Tagging With Tag&Rename